One of the most urgent problems of bioethics, which represents a wide field for philosophical reflection, is the idea of eugenic improvement of humankind. This idea stems from the increasing interest of the scientific community and the public in general to the work in the field of human genetics.
It was difficult to understand for people how doctors and educated scientists could have believed such inhuman and ridiculous ideas as eugenics. They could not understand how educated individuals could accept such a simple notion that complex human behaviors and actions were determined by single genes. In order to understand why eugenics dominated the science and health community in the first three decades of the 20th century, one needs to understand the economic, social, and political details in which eugenics dominated. What seems to be absurd or inhumane must have seemed reasonable at that time. Especially, this could be referred to the fact that the social problems were explained by the scientific ideas. The essay is going to display the main aspects of the history of eugenics and the practice of eugenics in modern society.
History of Eugenics
The very first idea of eugenics was first introduced to the public in 1865 by British psychologist F. Galton. Here is the definition of eugenics he gave: “Eugenics is the study of agencies under social control that may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations, either physically or mentally” (Galton, 1908). He added that questions would be subject to a purely scientific development, and this development would not go beyond promoting eugenic ideas.
In general, the theory of Galton was not brand new. Many nations from ancient times have practiced controlled evolution. The chosen methods were quite cruel – infanticide used to occur among them. It was used to make society free of individuals who suffered from deformity and prevent...